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A qualitative exploration of responses to self-compassion in a non-clinical sample

Campion, Maxine; Glover, Lesley

Authors

Maxine Campion



Abstract

Research suggests that being self-compassionate can have myriad benefits, including life satisfaction, health-promoting behaviours and improved mental health. Given the possible advantages of being self-compassionate, it seems critical to explore how to promote this in the general population. This qualitative study aimed to understand responses to the idea of being compassionate to oneself within the general population. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in the North East of England between October 2014 and February 2015, they were analysed using thematic analysis. As part of an intervention study, non-clinical volunteers watched a psychoeducation video about the concept of self-compassion and then participated in one of four meditation exercises. Following this, participants were interviewed about their responses to the idea of being self-compassionate. Three themes were identified: Benefits of Self-Compassion; Being Self-Compassionate and Barriers to Self-Compassion. Participants believed that being self-compassionate would be beneficial, for both themselves and the world, but they believed that self-compassion would make them vulnerable and that others would judge them. Thus, participants were afraid to be the first ones to be self-compassionate and stated that, in order for self-compassion to be acceptable, we need to change the perspective of western culture. These findings underscore the importance of understanding society's role in a person's ability to be self-compassionate. In order to reap the benefits of self-compassion, we need to create a culture that accepts and encourages this. As practitioners, we are in a position to lead in self-compassion and to encourage other leaders to promote this as a preventative mental health strategy.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017-05
Journal Health & social care in the community
Print ISSN 0966-0410
Electronic ISSN 1365-2524
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 3
Pages 1100-1108
APA6 Citation Campion, M., & Glover, L. (2017). A qualitative exploration of responses to self-compassion in a non-clinical sample. Health and Social Care in the Community, 25(3), 1100-1108. doi:10.1111/hsc.12408
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12408
Keywords Self-compassion; Prevention; Community health; Well-being
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hsc.12408/abstract
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article: Campion, M. and Glover, L. (2016), A qualitative exploration of responses to self-compassion in a non-clinical sample. Health Soc Care Community. doi:10.1111/hsc.12408

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